Gauguin gave this account of the ear incident to Bernard, who relayed it to Aurier in a letter as follows: Ever since [it was clear] I had to leave Arles, he was so bizarre that I couldn’t take it. He even said to me: “Are you going to leave?” And when I said “Yes,” he tore this sentence from a newspaper and put it in my hand: “the murderer took flight.” I spent the night in a hotel, and when I went back all of Arles was in front of our house. Then... (http://artistandstudio.tumblr.com/tagged/spa/page/42)
Van Gogh painted over 30 self portraits between the years 1886 and 1889. His collection of self portraits places him among the most prolific self portraitists of all time. Van Gogh used portrait painting as a method of introspection, a method to make money and a method of developing his skills as an artist.
See van Gogh's self portraits in chronological order at http://www.wga.hu/html_m/g/gogh_van/16/ .
dutch artisthatself portraitautodidactself taught